The reminder this week begins with a passage from the Glorious Quran. Ayat 269 of Sura Baqara is translated to say:
He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.
Dear brothers and sisters, the trait of wisdom or hikmah is a great blessing bestowed upon us by Allah SWT. However, wisdom is something which grows over time, with experience and with understanding of our relationship with Allah SWT.
Allah SWT mentions this blessing the Quran and the imam mentioned it today. Ayat 113 of Sura Nisa is translated to say:
And if it was not for the favor of Allah upon you, [O Muhammad], and His mercy, a group of them would have determined to mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they will not harm you at all. And Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom and has taught you that which you did not know. And ever has the favor of Allah upon you been great.
But what does it mean to have wisdom? The key point worth mentioning here is that there is a difference between wisdom and intelligence. One may have the knowledge stored in their minds but the application of that knowledge in the correct context comes from wisdom and therefore it cannot be taught.
Wisdom comes from the heart and it’s root is divine. As Muslims it is important to make this distinction as attaining wisdom is synonymous with understanding and application of our faith.
The first pre-requisite to wisdom is the remembrance and fear of Allah SWT. For someone to lack this element to their being cannot be considered wise as this forms a key foundation to attaining wisdom.
Allah SWT mentions wisdom in the Quran and it is a great reminder for us on how to attain this trait. Allah SWT mentions that it begins through the obedience of Allah SWT, understanding our religion and our place in the test of life. It is understanding the lessons within the Quran and applying them to our lives, i.e. the sunnah of the Prophet SAWS.
Sometimes being wise and knowing the difference between right and wrong is not easy. In fact, sometimes the right choice is the more difficult of the two. This is part of the test of life and we shouldn’t shy away from making the difficult decisions.
The imam reference this in todays reminder through the translation of ayat 8 of Sura Al-Maidah which is translated to say:
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
Dear brothers and sisters, practically this may also mean that sometimes we have to listen to those we may not like as the pursuit of truth should be free of any prejudice or pre-judgement.
Another pre-requisite is having patience. Not only is this with our family and close friends but it is also important as Muslims living in this country. We are ambassadors to the truth and therefore our conduct has to be nothing short of exemplary. We should be role models in our conduct and our behaviour. This is also mentioned in the Quran and was mentioned by the imam today in Sura An-Nahl, ayat 125 which is translated to say:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.
Another trait required before wisdom can be bestowed upon us is that of humility. As mentioned earlier, we are all here as slaves and creation of Allah SWT. Although we may possess different levels of wisdom, we must be mindful that wisdom is still a blessing from Allah SWT and to treat His creation with kindness, compassion and patience.
Wisdom is lost when one succumbs to anger or their personal desires. We need to be careful that we do not fall into this trap. The trap of the ego is a leading cause to lose wisdom as we must strive to do justice to others and foremostly to ourselves. This is referred to in ayats 36 to 39 of Sura Al-Isra which is translated to say:
“You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the capacity for hearing, sight, and the intellect, and you are responsible for using them effectively. You shall not walk with arrogance on earth – you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the mountains. All impropriety is condemned by your Lord. This is of the wisdom inspired to you by your Lord. You shall not set up another object of worship beside God, lest you end up in hell; blamed and defeated.”
Dear brothers and sisters, wisdom begins from oneself. It begins with understanding the true purpose of this life which is to worship Allah SWT and follow His commands through the Sunnah of the Prophet SAWS.
It then requires consistent and constant application of this understanding alongside the traits of patience and humility all the while being aware that anger and ego are traits which will remove the blessing of wisdom from us.